PCB Chairman ‘keen’ to experiment drop-in pitches:
The Rawalpindi pitch fiasco in the first Test match against England raised several eyebrows and questions regarding the standards of pitch curation in Pakistan. The chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramiz Raja was lambasted by many fans and cricket gurus of the country over the pitch curation, however, the head of PCB cleared himself of any blame by expressing his equal ‘disappointment’ on the pitches.
While being interviewed by Michael Atherton for Sky Sports Cricket, the incumbent chair of Pakistan cricket’s governing body said that the country lacks the art of curating a five-day pitch according to the needs, therefore, the pitch ended up as it was; dead and stubborn.
“The idea was to prepare a pitch that had reverse and spin. But because we don’t have the mastery and artistry to prepare a five-day pitch, we struggled badly. We took the grass off and the pitch died completely, so it backfired.”
The solution to this problem, according to the former cricketer, is the introduction of drop-in pitches. Drop-in pitch is a pitch which is custom made outside of the ground where it is to be used and then ‘dropped in’ or transported to the venue for the match. This kind of pitch is generally used in grounds which serve as venues for multi-sports. Highlighting their need in Pakistan, Ramiz Raja said: “[But] We have not done a great deal regarding the science that goes behind preparing a pitch. Hence the drop in pitch scenario [is needed] and I am very keen to experiment with that.”
He further said, “I am now looking to get that drop-in pitch experiment done and it’s not that these grounds are multi-purpose Sports Complexes but [we will do it] just to have proper strategy over a pitch so we can boss the pitch and play accordingly.”
The second Test match of the series against England which is taking place after 17 years of wait is currently being played in Multan. The pitch there is a rank turner with myriads of cracks which have favored both spinners as well as seamers.
The Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, when asked about the route he plans to take if Asia Cup is taken out of Pakistan, said: “I think there is a government policy [of India] and I have no idea whether they [Indian team] will come or not but it’s unfair. There was a statement at the end of a BCCI meeting where they said ‘India may not travel to Pakistan because of Government policy and also there is likelihood of Asia Cup being taken away from Pakistan to put somewhere else’, which i will absolutely resist.”